With senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemlal Murmu's resignation on Friday, it seems that party chief Sibu Soren has lost his ability to keep his flock together as he had done during the days of the Separate Statehood Movement about three decades ago.
Murmu, a seasoned leader and Barhet MLA, tendered his resignation on Friday.
His status in JMM was only next to Sibu, especially in the Santhal Pargana region.
Speaking about the cause of resignation, Hemlal said, "The inclusion of former Congress leader Vijay Hansda in the JMM has upset me. His father Thomas Hansda had represented the Rajmahal
Lok Sabha seat twice on a Congress ticket."
"It was a humiliation to me. I wanted to contest the Lok Sabha election this year from Rajmahal. The party is not being run by Guruji, but by his son Hemant Soren," Murmu added.
Murmu claimed that in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls he had defeated the late Thomas Hansda from Rajmahal constituency and also defeated his son Vijay in 2009 from Barhet assembly seat.
For winning twice, the party should have given me the ticket, he added.
Sources said about three decades ago, Murmu had started his political career as a Communist Party of India (CPI) leader from the Santhal Parganas.
It was Sibu who had brought him to the JMM during the days of the Statehood Movement.
The Santhal Parganas was the protest base and Murmu had contributed a lot to the JMM as well as the separation cause.
Reacting to the news, JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya confirmed that Murmu had resigned.
"I would not make any comment. We are going to hold a meeting of the working committee soon. The meeting would decide what we should do now," he told HT.